Summary: A sermon about living into the person God has called you to be.
“Do Not Be Afraid”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer
Pastor of Grace UMC
Soddy Daisy, TN
My freshman year of college I took a public speaking course.
It was a relatively small class and we had lots of fun giving our speeches.
I remember our first assignment.
We were to give a speech comparing and contrasting two different things.
On the day I was to speak in front of the class I brought a boom-box along with some heavy metal cassette tapes, and I gave a speech comparing really good heavy metal music to not so good heavy metal music.
At one point in my speech I made the comment: “Ozzy Osbourne isn’t really all that heavy, and he’s not really all that crazy either. I mean, he’s 40 years old. How crazy could he be?”
Within the review of my speech, I remember my professor writing: “Poor old Ozzy. He’s not crazy. He’s 40 years old.”
Now that I’m quickly approaching 40 I think 40 is pretty young!
Our second assignment for that class was to pick a hero and give a speech from that person’s perspective.
When the day of my speech came, I painted my face like Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS and gave a speech in full KISS garb.
There was about a two-week span of time between my second and third speech…and a lot was happening in my life.
God’s grace was working hard on me.
I had become good friends with another kid who was a born again Christian, and I liked what I saw in his life.
And although I had been raised in the church, and had always believed I had never made a full commitment of my life to the Lord.
My gods played heavy metal guitars and wore grease paint on their faces.
Anyhow, just a couple of days before the day of my third speech in front of this class I gave my life to Jesus Christ…I was born again!
It was quite a shock to my audience when I stood up to give my speech beginning with the words, “A few days ago I gave my life to Jesus Christ…” and I went on to explain the message of the Gospel the best I knew how.
I can still see the jaws that dropped to the floor that day.
In our Old Testament Lesson for this morning we see the Lord call Jeremiah to be one of His prophets at a very young age.
And Jeremiah’s response was “Ah, Sovereign Lord…” “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
If you were to look up the word “ah” in a Hebrew Dictionary you would see that Jeremiah’s “ah” was more like “awww.”
It was a sigh of pain and agony.
Many folks think Jeremiah was still probably in his teens when God called him.
That means we can probably understand his response a little better.
How many teenagers, when their parents ask them to do something difficult; respond with “awww mom,” or “awww dad?”
Jeremiah was saying “awww” to God.
But look what the Lord said to Jeremiah in verses 7 and 8: “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you…”
God assures Jeremiah, that despite Jeremiah’s youth…
…despite Jeremiah’s inexperience…
…Jeremiah did not need to be intimidated by the power and prestige of those to whom he would be asked to proclaim the Word of God, since God had promised to stand by him and guide him and protect him.
Quite often, when someone gives their life to Christ, we say things to them such as: “You are just a baby. You’re vulnerable and weak, and there’s so much you don’t know yet. You need some good teaching and help, so don’t worry about anything but learning right now. For now, just soak up as much as you can.”
While many of these things are true, the new believer is not a complete idiot when it comes to the Gospel.
The new believer has a lot of knowledge already.
The new believer knows, and it is still very fresh in his or her mind, what it is like to live without Christ as opposed to what it is like to live with Christ.
The new believer, more than likely, has already had quite a journey on his or her way from point a to point b…
…and the new believer has just been rescued…
…the new believer has just been resurrected…
…the new believer has just been snatched from the pit of hell and from the grave!!!
The new believer must learn, but the new believer must tell as well!